Does your community have people who love to sing? Why not start a community choir in your library? Creativity Australia’s With One Voice choir program is about building supportive connections, strengthening diverse communities and inspiring individuals to find their voice. They encourage you to invite people from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds, aged 9 to 90 – and a series of How to Guides, videos and resources are available to help get you started.
State Library of Queensland regularly partners with the School of HardKnocks (SOHK) Queensland to host a Christmas Celebration Concert in the Edge. Led by Dr Jonathon Welch AM, the participants showcase their annual celebration of the festive season, sharing with the audience what they have been working on in the last year and encourage the audience to participate in a good old fashioned sing-a-long. The program has been an opportunity for the library to engage with a community that traditionally might not utilise the facilities. School of Hard Knocks Operations Manager, Susan Gilmartin, noted that SLQ is becoming ‘like a second home’ to participants and is now their meeting place, as participants feel comfortable and safe here. This outcome is particularly significant because it suggests a reduction in threshold fear, which would not have been possible without the partnership with School of Hard Knocks. We continue to build on the work with the choir by supporting participants to access the wider programs and services SLQ offers. This type of work is about engaging with diverse community members so that the library continues to be a welcoming place for them.
To make it easier for communities to start their own choir, Creativity Australia is offering a limited number of start-up funding grants of $10,000. Successful applicants will receive the $10,000 start-up grant and join a 12-month intensive mentoring program to guide them through the process of building their own With One Voice Social Franchise choir. If you have a community development section in your Council – you might want to work with them. Applications are open and close on 2rd March, 2018.